Praised be the Founders of Clan Jade
From him came the fire of the first Falcons.
From him came the stubbornness and strength.
From her came the will to remember.
-From the Jade Falcon Invocation
In 2784, when it became clear that the corruption Stefan Amaris had spread through the five Houses of the Inner Sphere now threatened to engulf the Star League Defense Force, General Aleksandr Kerensky presented the idea of an exodus to his troops. Eighty percent of the SLDF responded when Kerensky gave the Exodus order, and one thousand ships jumped into uncharted space. They traveled more than thirteen hundred light years from the Inner Sphere, eventually settling on five barely habitable worlds that lay within five closely situated star systems. As Kerensky dismantled the artificial military structure created by the journey, old hatreds and distrust re-emerged, and the heirs of the SLDF eventually fell into a twenty-year battle, on the five settled worlds of the Pentagon, that eerily resembled the Succession Wars. Aleksandr's son, Nicholas, recognizing the signs of another debilitating struggle, led another Exodus on the path to a new civilization.
Six hundred warriors followed Nicholas Kerensky back from the world of Strana Mechty to the war-torn Pentagon. No longer members of the Star League Defense Force, Nicholas' force called itself the Clans of Kerensky. With great skill and ferocity, they put an end to the bitter factionalism that had killed millions. Nicholas Kerensky brought the fierce, warrior-based society he had created on Strana Mechty to the survivors on the Pentagon worlds; they hailed him as a hero and embraced his new code.
The Clans pay homage to their founding members with yearly memorials. This praise is not distributed equally, however. Each Clan considers only a handful of their original members to be of particular importance to the Clan, and deserving of the title, Founder. The Founders' importance springs from many sources, but most often for their role during the Exodus Civil War, their support for Nicholas Kerensky as he created his new society, or for the honor that the particular Founder's genetic heritage has brought to the Clan over time.
Clan Jade Falcon recognizes four Founders. They are Lisa Buhallin, Devon Mattlov, Carl Icaza, and Elizabeth Hazen. Of the four, Elizabeth Hazen is most prominent in the hearts and minds of all Jade Falcon warriors.
But all hail mighty Elizabeth Hazen and
As first among equals,
For she was the first Khan
And Turkina her winged soul.
From them came our spirit and destiny.
-From the Jade Falcon Invocation
Clan Jade Falcon history truly begins with the birth of Elizabeth Cynthia Hazen on April 5, 2741, in the city of Alexandria, the state of Virginia, North American continent, Terra. Upon reaching her legal majority, Elizabeth joined the Star League Defense Forces, immediately beginning to demonstrate great prowess as a MechWarrior and leader. Though only twenty-five years old at the time of the Amaris coup, Hazen was already commander of a company of the Royal Black Watch Regiment, the elite honor guard of the Cameron family.
Captain Hazen was not with her company the day the Usurper assassinated Richard Cameron and had his troops destroy the Black Watch. She was with her brother Lionel, an aerospace pilot with the Black Watch who had crashed his fighter the day before. When Amaris troopers stormed the hospital where Hazen's brother was being treated, they herded everyone out into the parking lots, leaving behind those patients who could not walk (including Lionel Hazen), Elizabeth Hazen realized something was very wrong. In an act of brutality so typical of Amaris, he ordered the hospital bombed before the eyes of the terrified onlookers.
Elizabeth Hazen and several others managed to escape from their captors in the ensuing confusion. In the months, then years, that followed, Elizabeth gathered together other soldiers and civilians eager to fight back. They formed the Ghosts of the Black Watch (GBW), a guerrilla force that haunted the mountains and forests of the Olympic Peninsula, striking strategic Amaris interests with great skill and fury.
A decade after the coup, General Kerensky's forces liberated Terra from Amaris rule in 2779. Elizabeth Hazen and her followers emerged from hiding, looking, in the words of General Kerensky, "like a band of starving wolves." The Star League awarded Elizabeth Hazen the Star League Medal of Honor and inducted her into the Order of the Sword as a reward for her constant loyalty. She was the last to be accorded such honors.
The Ghosts of the Black Watch suffered great physical and emotional hardships during their decade of resistance, and Elizabeth Hazen may have suffered most. When General Kerensky offered her a position on his command staff, she requested release from the SLDF instead. For a year Hazen wandered across Terra, sometimes teaching English to support herself, and finally settling as a language tutor in Budapest. The brothers of a Catholic monastery high in the hills above the city introduced Elizabeth to falconry.
After Kerensky's defeat of Stefan Amaris, he waited patiently another three years for the leaders of the five Great Houses to elect a new First Lord of the Star League. When the Council Lords failed to elect a new First Lord and instead disbanded the Star League because each wanted the highest power for him or herself, General Kerensky gave his troops the exodus order rather than face what he saw as the coming Armageddon. Somehow, Elizabeth azen learned of what was happening; many Jade Falcon poets and loremasters believe that General DeChavilier traveled to Budapest to inform her, an opinion unconfirmed by our historians. This version of events would also support the unconfirmed belief that Elizabeth Hazen and Aaron DeChavilier shared more than a passing friendship.
The fact remains that Elizabeth Hazen joined the Exodus, recommissioned by General Kerensky himself to the rank of major and given a position in General DeChavilier's command staff.
Recorded history reveals little about Major Hazen's role in the Exodus. Most likely, she had little to occupy her time until the Prinz Eugen mutiny. When nine warships in the Exodus fleet rebelled against Kerensky's authority, and decided to return to Terra, Kerensky sent a large force, including Major Hazen, to capture the fleeing mutineers. When the pursuing force returned with the nine renegade ships, General Kerensky ordered the leaders executed, and put Hazen in command of one of the firing squads.
THE LEGEND OF TURKINA
Then Warrior Hazen grew cold
Watching noble DeChavilier die.
She heard her mind whisper
Urging her to fly,
To forget her duty.
But with a defiant cry
Proud Turkina dove
From the realm of death
To seize Hazen's heart
And shake it free of fear
Leaving pure her soul
And her duty clear.
-The Remembrance (Clan Jade Falcon), Passage 8, Verse 36, Lines 58Ð66
In the course of their travels away from Terra, General Kerensky and his followers came upon a cluster of marginally habitable star systems, less than a jump apart. His soldiers, and the civilians who shared his vision enough to accompany him so far from Terra, colonized five of these worlds, naming them Arcadia, Circe, Dagda, Eden, and Babylon.
For several years peace reigned among the General's followers, though life was not without danger as the colonists fought and struggled to tame their hostile new homeworlds. To carry out this work, Kerensky realized that he must demilitarize his followers, reducing his forces by 75 percent through a series of severe tests that only the most skilled soldiers could pass. Elizabeth Hazen passed easily, retaining her commission and taking command of the Dagda military garrison, where she also became involved in the fledgling civilian government.
These peaceful years marked the Exodus scientists' first major breakthroughs in genetic engineering. Their earliest efforts produced predators designed to hunt down native life forms that posed a particular threat to the colonists. Perhaps the most beautiful of these man-made creations are the jade falcons. The jade falcon, created from the genes of the peregrine and gyrfalcon, is the size of Terra's largest eagle. With its razor-sharp talons the jade falcon hunts the Eden serpent, a large, venomous, winged reptile native to the planet Eden. The jade falcon was soon exported to Dagda to deal with a similar menace on that world. There the jade falcon's prey was a creature the colonists named the dagadar, a large quasi-avian that attacked the colonists' livestock.
According to Clan lore, Elizabeth Hazen was the first to completely tame and train a jade falcon. She named her prize Turkina, after the particularly powerful wife of one of the ancient Mongol khans on Terra. The sight of Hazen and Turkina became a familiar one throughout the Pentagon. Some stories even claim that Turkina read her mistress' mind.
In one such story, Elizabeth happened to challenge the developer of a piece of land whose price she believed to be ridiculously high. When she confronted the man with her suspicions, he threatened her with a convenient "accident"; she was alone, and no one would ever know what happened. Hazen replied that she had all the protection she needed, and pointed up at a tiny speck circling in the cloudless sky. At that instant, Turkina gave a screech of defiance, folded her wings, and plummeted straight at the terrified developer, only to pull out of the dive with her talons just centimeters from his face.
Major Hazen and Turkina became unwilling celebrities for a time, but their fame was quickly forgotten as tensions over scarce food and other essentials erupted on Dagda and the other Pentagon worlds. This fed old hatreds over cultural differences, which escalated so quickly and violently that Kerensky, once again titled Protector of the Star League, prepared to mount a diplomatic-military mission to try to defuse the situation and avoid civil war. He began by ordering General DeChavilier, with Major Hazen as his second in command, to disarm a Liao separatist faction that had refused all peaceful overtures on the southern continent of Eden.
The order found Elizabeth Hazen caring for an ailing Turkina, who had been stricken by a virus. Two hours before Hazen shipped for Eden, the fabled Turkina died. The loss of her falcon companion devastated Elizabeth, and she left for Eden with a heavy heart.
Ten days later, DeChavilier and Elizabeth Hazen used their 'Mechs to lead a force of infantrymen through the dense Pokill jungle. Under the reddish midday sun, the force entered a clearing and met an ambush.
Elizabeth Hazen's 'Mech, a Black Knight, fell first when it stepped into a concealed, oil-filled pit. Elizabeth ejected clear as her 'Mech pitched forward and sank chest-deep into the black liquid, then exploded in flames an instant later. The major's relief at avoiding a fiery death was short-lived. As she floated down toward solid ground, a bullet hit her helmet, knocking her unconscious.
Hazen woke to the sight of a desperate battle. DeChavilier's 'Mech, its mangled right leg dragging behind, had also fallen into a concealed pit. Instead of bailing out, however, the general continued firing his weapons with apparent disregard for his perilous position. In an attempt to protect their leader, his soldiers established a perimeter guard around the 'Mech and began a fierce barrage of weapons fire.
As Elizabeth Hazen struggled out of her harness and stumbled toward the fray, the jungle erupted with the sound of hand-held missiles leaving their tubes. Some missed their targets and set trees aflame. Others fell among the infantry, who lived for a few tortured seconds until the flaming jelly burned the flesh from their bodies.
But most of the missiles hit DeChavilier's 'Mech, smearing it with burning petrochemical and setting the pool of oil around it on fire. Elizabeth could imagine the waves of heat building in the general's 'Mech, could almost see the heat indicators creep up toward the critical range. She must have whispered a prayer that General DeChavilier would eject.
The hatch on the 'Mech finally jettisoned, and for a moment, it looked as though Elizabeth's prayer had been answered. An instant later, the general's ejection seat lifted him out of the stricken 'Mech on a column of fire, just as another salvo of missiles streaked from the jungle toward the 'Mech. One struck the general, creating a fireball of flame, smoke, and debris.
A story called The Falcon Vision chronicles the tale of DeChavilier's death and the succeeding events. Said to have been written shortly after Elizabeth Hazen's death, the tale's ornate language makes it very long, but quite beautiful. All Jade Falcon cadets memorize the story during training and recite it at their graduation ceremony. The Falcon Vision provides the best version of what happened next.
". . .and our founder knew fear and
despair, for as the glow from the fireball faded, she heard the cheers of the enemy, and
the sound stripped away what courage was left in her heart.
"She crawled away from the battle until she reached a small green clearing that was cool and quiet. She wondered what to do. Her heart told her she had suffered enough these past few days; first at the death of Turkina, and now the violent death of her best friend. Could anyone suffer such sorrow and not think of running away, or worse?
"One small part of her argued against this urge to flee. Yes, the universe had struck terrible blows against her, but she still lived, and should continue the struggle.
"But that thought grew fainter and fainter, until it was little more than the droning of a mosquito against the siren's call to throw off her uniform and slip into the jungle, where she could wait for oblivion.
"A familiar cry pierced the air and cut short her reverie. Before her mind had registered its astonishment, our Founder watched great Turkina land on a perch in front of her. The bird's emerald eyes looked sternly upon the battered form of her mistress.
"Turkina opened her beak; not to
scream, but to speak with contempt.
"'Weakness,' Turkina said. 'Weakness from my mistress? It is not possible!'
"When our stunned Founder made no reply, Turkina ruffled her feathers angrily and spoke again.
"'Why do you sit here like a frightened pigeon, hiding from the fight?' she asked. 'You should be out there, talons ripping, beak dripping with the blood of your foes, not crouched here waiting to die a coward's death!'
"At that, the pride of our Founder
rose like bile.
"'I decide what I do, and will not let some hallucination tell me to die a meaningless death!'
"'Hallucination? Let this be the doings of a hallucination, then!' Turkina bent and slashed the back of our Founder's left hand with her beak, drawing blood and pain."
Elizabeth Hazen accepted that it was indeed Turkina perched before her, impossible as that seemed. In a voice full of self-pity, Hazen confessed her fear and despair. Turkina replied that every death held meaning, as long as the life was honestly given for the common good. The specter falcon chastised her former companion, claiming that a warrior who turned from a fight was worse than a coward, and acted against nature. "Some are born to till the fields, some are destined to create. You trained from birth to be a warrior, just as I trained at your fist when I had barely escaped the shards of my shell. To turn your back on your destiny because you are frightened or sick of the hunt is an abomination against nature."
Elizabeth rose, swearing to be true to her nature and reenter the fight. Turkina rejoined, "If this is true emotion, then swear upon the love we shared when you were my mistress to give all that you have and are to protect and advance the virtues you hold dear. Fight so that your children may look back upon what you have done and say, 'Praised be the name of Elizabeth Hazen, for she was what a warrior should be.'"
Our Founder, her voice choked with pride
and honor, swore upon all that was holy to fulfill Turkina's vow.
Our Founder turned to rejoin the fight, only to discover that she no longer wore her sidearm.
"I have no weapon. How will I avenge
the death of DeChavilier?" she asked. "Have you not yet learned that a warrior's
weapon is his body, and that swords and lasers and 'Mechs are but extensions of that
weapon?" Turkina said. With a cry that sounded like a laugh of triumph, Turkina
launched into the air, and like a ray of light, disappeared into the sky.
Fearing that she had lost the blessing of her wondrous vision, Elizabeth Hazen set out toward the clearing, determined to use her hands, feet, and mind to continue the struggle. When she heard Turkina's clear cry once more, she looked into the sun, and suddenly Turkina reappeared, her talons gripping a battered katana.
Turkina dropped the sword and the Founder
caught it, overwhelmed by a flood of memories.
"Yes, loved one, that is the sword you gave Aaron DeChavilier long ago. I pried it from his lifeless hands for you-even in death he gripped his weapon, as should every warrior in the last moments of his life. Cherish it and his memory, and use it to draw the blood of any who would dare stand in the way of destiny."
With tears in her eyes, Elizabeth turned
again to enter the battle, but paused once more to hear Turkina's parting words.
"Before you leave, pull five feathers from my wings, and take back this leather cord," the jade falcon told her. "As I wore your jesses in life as a token of my devotion, now you and those who will follow you must swear devotion to me and the ways of my falcon kindred. You are now warriors of the wing."
The tale concludes with Elizabeth Hazen returning to the battle and killing many enemy soldiers in a particularly violent and gory fashion, then leading what remained of her troops in a successful attack against the separatist stronghold.
While the riots and rebellions continued elsewhere, all-out civil war broke out on Eden. Perhaps it was the death of his old comrade DeChavilier, perhaps it was despair at facing yet another civil war, but it was not long after that General Aleksandr Kerensky died. Nicholas, his son and heir, realized that he could not stop the rising violence, and decided to let the fire erupt and burn itself out quickly, rather than continue the fight.
Gathering together his followers, Nicholas led those
loyal to his vision in another Exodus, this time to Strana Mechty, a nearby globular
cluster of worlds. When his personal warship left the Pentagon, Elizabeth Hazen stood by
Of course, the idea that the falcon Turkina broke the bounds of death, distance, and nature to visit her former mistress is ludicrous, but Jade Falcon members say the story is supported, however slenderly, by certain relics, including five dusty wing feathers from a jade falcon, a leather thong, and a battered katana bearing scratches along its blade that Jade Falcon warriors swear were made by Turkina's talons when she gripped the sword.
"I really don't care if the Star
League is ever reestablished. I'm more concerned with today. And today it is obvious that
without the wisdom of Aleksandr Kerensky and the leadership of General Nicholas, we are
little more than dirt-hugging, back-stabbing barbarians. The vision of the two Kerenskys
is the reason we have survived until now, and as long as I can still pilot a 'Mech, pick
up a pistol, or even spit in someone's eye, I will defend it."
-Excerpt from a letter written by Daniel Mattlov to Elizabeth Hazen
Daniel Mattlov, a soldier known as much for his loyalty to the Kerenskys as his considerable abilities as a fighter pilot, joined Nicholas Kerensky in the second Exodus.
Born on the Hegemony world of Caph as the second son of the Duke of Caph, Daniel Mattlov was a member of one of the Terran Hegemony's richest and most influential families. He grew up unwilling to fulfill his family's expectation that he devote his life either to business or politics, and rebelled by enlisting in the Star League Defense Forces. He trained as a fighter pilot at the Flight Academy of Graham, graduating with honors and then reporting to the elite fighter wing of the Eleventh Royal BattleMech Division (Orion Division).
His military career had been full of contradictions.
Though a fighter pilot of exceptional skill and bravery, his haughty, prideful manner and
short temper earned him numerous reprimands and cost him any chance of promotion above the
rank of lieutenant. Many of these "incidents," twenty-nine in all, put him on
report for assaulting someone who insulted the SLDF, his unit, or his commanding officer.
His fierce sense of loyalty governed his whole life, perhaps because this is why the trait
is one prized above all others by Clan Jade Falcon warriors.
Despite his problems, Mattlov proved himself an excellent soldier. He performed brilliantly during General Kerensky's attempt to quell the Periphery Uprising beginning in 2765 and in the struggle to defeat Stefan Amaris after he seized Terra and most of the Hegemony worlds. He made ace ten times over and suffered injuries on five separate occasions, the last when he deliberately crashed his burning fighter into a column of Amaris 'Mechs on Caph. That crash wounded him so severely that the doctors feared he would never recover.
Daniel did, however, survive his injuries, and stood among the first to offer his support when General Kerensky issued the call to exodus, though at the time he could barely walk. Making the decision to go was not easy. His entire family had died fighting the Amaris invasion of Caph or during the Amaris occupation, leaving Mattlov the title of Duke of Caph and the family's wealth.
Loyalty to General Kerensky and the SLDF won out. Daniel
left his family's future and fortunes to a distant cousin and joined the Exodus. Daniel
Mattlov's activities during the Exodus and colonization of the Pentagon worlds remain
largely unknown, but a few terse medical records show that he continued to pilot aerospace
fighters against the judgment of his doctors, who believed his days as a soldier had
Daniel Mattlov was one of the first to swear loyalty to Nicholas Kerensky when Aleksandr died while preparing the campaign to secure the rebellious world of Eden, and he probably met fellow supporter Elizabeth Hazen during the Exodus to Strana Mechty, in the nearby Kerensky Cluster. An easy friendship grew between the two as they recognized a similar devotion to the ideals embodied by Nicholas Kerensky.
When Nicholas released the preliminary rosters of the
twenty Clans given the honor of ending the civil wars plaguing the Pentagon worlds, Daniel
Mattlov's name was missing. Outraged, Daniel confronted Nicholas Kerensky and his command
staff and demanded to know the reason for this insult. When told he had been passed over
because of his medical condition, Mattlov retorted that, while he might never pilot an
aerospace fighter again (his lungs had been permanently weakened by his last crash), he
could "damn well pilot a 'Mech better than any one of you fools."
For once, his brashness earned him not a reprimand, but respect. Daniel immersed himself in training as a MechWarrior, and proved to be as skilled at controlling a 'Mech as piloting a fighter.
The final rosters for Nicholas' twenty Clans must have given Daniel Mattlov great pride: his name was among those warriors who took an active part in the fighting, and his commander in Clan Jade Falcon was his friend, Elizabeth Hazen.
"How does Icaza take bad news? Let me
put it this way. I'd rather be covered with paper cuts and then thrown into a vat of lemon
juice than tell Icaza something he ain't goin' to like."
-Captain Danielle Marks, aide to Colonel Carl Icaza
Nicholas Kerensky's final roster appointed Carl Icaza commander of the Clan Jade Falcon infantry. While Clan lore is full of stories about Carl Icaza, his early history eluded our researchers.
We eventually realized that our difficulty in tracing
Carl Icaza's roots lay in the fact that Icaza was not his real name. The discovery that he
was born Carl Benno of Skye, in the Lyran Commonwealth, revealed more information,
including that Carl served three years in prison.\n\tA man of considerable size and
strength, Carl Benno Icaza staunchly opposed the class system on Skye, a very
tradition-bound planet. He was expelled twice in his early years at Sanglamore Military
Academy for trying to unionize the university's maintenance staff. But it was a
long-standing grudge between Icaza and Count Vimmons Donakowski, Lyran Dean of the Academy
and staunch hater of liberal views, that landed him in jail.
The focus of their almost-constant skirmishes shifted dramatically with the appearance on campus of Geena Drallith, eldest daughter and heir of the Duke of Kochab. An instant and dramatic passion sprang to life between Carl and Geena, who spurned Count Donakowski for her true love. Donakowski decided to devote his considerable political and social influence to making the young couple's life miserable.
If that were not enough, Carl later faced charges of treason against the Lyran Commonwealth. The Count, acting as chief prosecutor, accused him of passing confidential information about important students to operatives of the Terran Hegemony, and backed up the accusations with physical proof. At first glance, the charges appeared to have been contrived by the jealous count; however, deeper scrutiny shows no proof to suggest that he framed Carl or faked the evidence.
The time spent in jail turned Carl's life around. Geena, shattered by the publicity surrounding the trial, left Carl and Skye for home, and so little remained for Carl in the Lyran Commonwealth. Shortly after earning a parole, Carl Benno left Skye for the Terran Hegemony under the name Carl Icaza. There he joined the SLDF. (That he managed to evade the surveillance the Count placed on him after his release from prison goes a long way toward proving that Carl did indeed hold strong ties to the Hegemony intelligence services.)
Under his new name, Carl became a cadet in the West Point
Military Academy of Terra and graduated three years later as an infantry lieutenant. He
served with distinction in a variety of units, and, by the time of the Amaris coup,
commanded the 889th Jump Infantry Regiment with the Seventeenth Jump Infantry Division
(the Golden Talons).
The Golden Talons, stationed just outside the Hegemony at the time of the coup, played a vital, but little-remembered, role in bringing down the Usurper. They helped evacuate the survivors of SLDF units stationed on nearby Hegemony worlds, then launched a campaign of probing attacks to test the mettle of Amaris' forces. These pitched and often brutal battles were fought at great cost to the SLDF forces, who received only the most rudimentary logistical support from the Capellan Confederation.
Icaza's 889th (The Head Hunters) spearheaded one such doomed attack against the Hegemony world of Epsilon Eridani, with orders to find and evacuate the SLDF soldiers rumored to be hiding in that world's Diamond Mountains, on the southern continent. The rescue mission turned out to be nothing more than a ruse created by Amaris forces, and the trap cost the lives of many SLDF troopers. The ensuing slaughter destroyed the 889th as a fighting unit.
The Amaris troops captured Colonel Icaza, and he languished in a stockade for nine years, routinely suffering torture and humiliation until liberated by SLDF forces led by the Golden Talons. Icaza never explained how he survived for so long under such brutal conditions, but perhaps it was sheer stubbornness. It made sense for Icaza to volunteer to join up when Kerensky's Exodus call went out; he had seen mankind at its worst, and probably wanted to put as much space between the Inner Sphere and himself as possible.
When civil war became inevitable on the Pentagon worlds, Icaza, a regiment commander on Dagda, demanded that Protector Aleksandr Kerensky and his son authorize the military to take immediate, harsh action. According to the Clan Wolf and Steel Viper Loremasters, Icaza's contemporaries began to question the man's mental health about this same time. Excessive use of corporal punishment to discipline his men and punish civilians under his control, as well reports of other odd behavior led fellow officers to suggest that he be relieved of his command. Nicholas flatly denied this request, as he and Icaza had become close friends during the Exodus.
Aleksandr's death and Nicholas' call for a new exodus apparently shocked new life into the aging warrior. The twenty years of voluntary exile on Strana Mechty gave him the time and opportunity to free his mind of the demons that had so troubled him. Nicholas had created a strike force of 800 warriors, and put Icaza in charge of training them in their new infantry unit formations and battle tactics. Nicholas, meanwhile, organized his followers into a new order based on the system of Clans we see today. This new order would purge his people of the flaws that had led to so much civil strife up to this point. It also allowed him to train the force he would need to conquer the embattled worlds of the Pentagon.
When IlKhan Kerensky was finally ready, he assigned Clan Jade Falcon, along with Clans Hell's Horses, Wolf, and Smoke Jaguar, to liberate the planet Eden. Elizabeth Hazen saw this as a chance to avenge the death of General DeChavilier; Carl Icaza intended to use his assignment to impose some order and discipline among the populace.
The four Clans paired for the drop, with Jade Falcon teamed with Wolf to take and control the planet's largest and most important continent. Even before they arrived on Eden, a strong rivalry developed between the two Clans. Nicholas Kerensky encouraged the competition because he thought it good for morale.
Several weeks later, rivalry in the name of morale gave way to open feuding when Carl Icaza's infantry Points discovered a contingent of enemy infantry at nearly the same instant as a Star of Wolf 'Mechs. Properly declaring their right to the battle, Carl and his troops moved to engage the opposition, but the Wolf 'Mechs waded past them into the enemy formation, killing most and scattering the rest. Infuriated, Carl Icaza attacked the Wolf leader, Star Commander Franklin Ward, as soon as the warrior dismounted his 'Mech. This move signalled the start of a free-for-all, and the five Wolf MechWarriors got the worst of it. The fight ended with the arrival of Khan Hazen and Khan Fetladral of Clan Wolf. When they discovered the reason for the fight, the Khans ordered the MechWarriors whipped for violating the combat rights of Carl Icaza's soldiers.
"Lisa Buhallin is the least known of
all our Founders, even though her books tell us about the first days of Clan Jade Falcon.
We honor her privacy."
-Angeline Mattlov, Loremaster, Clan Jade Falcon
The ill-feeling between Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Wolf festered despite the punishment meted out to the Wolf MechWarriors. Throughout the campaign to take Eden, the two Clans repeatedly contested the rights to assault key targets. When discussion proved futile in resolving these disputes, the Clan Khans created a strictly administered series of rules for resolving disagreements as the only way to prevent devastating fighting between the two Clans. Some of these rules were later incorporated and ritualized into the Clan Trials.
Clan Jade Falcon subdued the larger share of Eden, mainly because of Khan Hazen's relentless desire to avenge the death of General DeChavilier by killing anyone who might have raised a hand against him and Nicholas Kerensky. When Eden lay conquered, Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Wolf went to Dagda to help subdue that particularly rebellious world.
When Nicholas Kerensky formed the Clans, he stressed the honor of winning glory by fighting against the odds. But ilKhan Kerensky made an announcement near the end of the reconquest of the Pentagon that diminished that goal. He would choose the Clan that performed best in the overall campaign as his Clan. This was a prize beyond price; the Clan the ilKhan commanded would be the foremost Clan, and the rights to Kerensky's blood heritage would virtually guarantee that Clan generations of warriors blessed with the same skills and genius as Nicholas and his father, General Kerensky.
Clan Jade Falcon felt justifiably confident of being chosen. They had fought numerous battles and gained great glory; five times the ilKhan commanded them personally; all five times those warriors won decisive victories. Only Clan Wolf fought as well.
The battle known as the Siege of the Black Brian seemed to tip the scales in favor of Clan Jade Falcon. The Black Brian was a fortification similar in size and construction to the Castle Brians used by the Terran Hegemony. Situated on the eastern continent of Dagda, it dominated the only pass through the Thorin Mountains. A strong, well-trained force of warriors claiming allegiance to the ways of the Lyran Commonwealth overran the fort during the first days of the Exodus Civil Wars. Though the fort got its name from the way its walls got blackened during various battles of the civil wars, the Black Brian's defenders still represented formidable opposition. The Clans needed to destroy that pocket of resistance in order to reassert their control over that part of the planet, and so the ilKhan himself assumed command of the Jade Falcon troops, setting the stage for a particularly bloody and fateful battle.
The record of this battle also marks the first mention of Lisa Buhallin in the annals of Jade Falcon. Though she commanded an assault Star in the siege of the Black Brian, her name does not appear on the rosters of those who joined the Exodus or served in the SLDF.
Our archivists spent many hours researching the name, and
finally discovered someone they believe is the Lisa Buhallin who helped create Clan Jade
Falcon, a woman born into a poor farming family on the Kurita world of Trondheim.
Upon graduating from a college prep school, Lisa accepted a scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University, a respected liberal arts college just kilometers from Unity City. This part of her background makes her role in the Clans somewhat surprising: before her induction into the Clans, Lisa Buhallin apparently showed no interest in the military profession. At university, Lisa followed her first love and became a well-liked member of the creative writing program.
No one knows how Lisa survived the years of the Amaris reign, or how she came to join Kerensky and the Regular Army. Circumstantial evidence suggests that she either belonged to Hazen's Ghosts of the Black Watch, or had a relationship with a member of that guerrilla force. Even her status as a member of the Ghosts, however, does not explain how someone with her lack of military and practical skills managed to join the Exodus when General Kerensky left behind others possessing greater military and civilian expertise.
How she managed to become an elite warrior of one of
Nicholas Kerensky's Clans, and a MechWarrior, at that, also remains a mystery. Even the
Falcon Loremasters cannot find a satisfactory explanation for her appearance. Clan
archives might have answered our questions, but Nicholas deliberately destroyed many of
the records relating to the members of the Exodus, as part of his effort to create a new
society, free from the tainted past.
Our few insights come from Lisa herself, who wrote one of the few accounts of the Clans' creation outside The Remembrance. The True and Faithful Account of the First Days of Clan Jade Falcon is required reading for anyone interested in an in-depth account of the Clan's early days. But even this book contains only a few references to its author.
In one of the rare passages revealing anything personal, Lisa Buhallin remembers her first battle as, "the most uplifting, liberating minutes of my life. Where once I could only be myself at the keyboard of a word processor or with pen and paper, I was suddenly shouting for joy and piloting my Atlas as if I were a giddy schoolgirl cavorting in a field of spring flowers. Nor did it matter one damn bit that I was killing people as I did so."
It is unlikely that she felt so much joy when she led her 'Mechs against the Black Brian fortifications on Dagda. IlKhan Kerensky ordered her to neutralize one of the large weapons turrets, assigned her unit minimal support, and then watched the assault. Her Star accomplished its objective, but Lisa Buhallin paid a high price for the victory. A grievous wound ended her short, but notable Jade Falcon military career.
Lisa Buhallin recovered, and earned the position of the Clan's second Khan and first Loremaster. She spent her last years writing her history of the Clans and composing passages for The Remembrance. She also became a trusted councilor to ilKhan Kerensky, helping him turn his vision of Clan society into laws and regulations.